here - Inclusive Mosque Initiative

Dr Iram Sattar
Myth busting
What does Islam say about mental illness?
Types of mental health problems
What can you do to help someone with mental
7. Where to turn for help?
8. What can we do as a Muslim community?
9. Useful Resources
A little Quiz...
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Mental illness – causes, types
Group work – Impact of Mental Illness
Treatment, how to help someone, Jinn
Group work – What can Muslim community do?
What is ‘Mental Health’?
 Being mentally healthy isn’t just not having a mental
health problem.
 Good mental health:
 Make the most of your potential
 Cope with life
 Play a full part in your family, workplace, community and
among friends
 Also called ‘Emotional health’ or ‘Well-being’
 We all have times when we feel down or stressed or
frightened. Most of the time those feelings pass.
 Everyone is different. You may bounce back from a setback
while someone else may feel weighed down by it for a long
Mental illness and Islam
 All diseases are trial and test from Allah
 Sins are forgiven
 Abu Hurayrah narrates that The Prophet pbuh said:
“There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He
also has created its remedy.” (Bukhari 7.582)
 Usamah ibn Shuraik narrated:
“… ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Should we seek medical treatment
for our illnesses?’ He replied: ‘Yes, you should seek medical
treatment, because Allah, the Exalted, has let no disease
exist without providing for its cure, except for one ailment,
namely, old age’.” (Tirmidhi)
 To seek treatment!
Mental illness and Islam
 Amber Haque (2004), "Psychology from Islamic
Perspective: Contributions of Early Muslim Scholars
and Challenges to Contemporary Muslim
Psychologists", Journal of Religion and Health
 Abu Zayd Al-Balkhi (850-934)
 Described several types of mental illness
 Criticised medical doctors for ignoring the
psychological aspect of disease
 Advocated psychotherapy
 Ibn Sina (980-1037)
Myth 1 – “not a real disease”
 MYTH: Mental illness is caused by weakness rather
than a medical disorder. Psychiatric disorders are not
true medical illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.
People who have a mental illness are just "crazy”.
 FACT: It is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s
thinking, feeling, mood, and ability to relate to others
and daily functioning. Research shows there are
genetic and biological causes for psychiatric disorders,
and they can be treated effectively. (Imbalance of
Causes of Mental illness
 Genetic – family history
 Small increased risk, most people do not have family
members affected
 Stressors – past and present
 Difficult family background e.g. abuse - sexual, domestic
violence, emotional, physical, financial, torture, etc.
 Stressful life events e.g. work, family, marriage, bereavement,
relationship difficulties, financial, abuse, etc.
 Physical illness – head injury, long-term physical illness,
 Long term substance abuse
Myth 2 – “addiction is your own fault”
 MYTH: Addiction is a lifestyle choice and shows a lack
of willpower. People with a substance abuse problem
are morally weak or "bad"
 FACT: Addiction is a disease that generally results
from changes in brain chemistry. It has nothing to do
with being a "bad" person
Types of Mental illness
 Depression
 Anxiety
 Schizophrenia
 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
 Eating Disorders – Anorexia, Bulimia
 Bipolar Disorder
 Common
 Lowers your mood
 Feel hopeless, worthless, unmotivated, exhausted
 Affects sleep, appetite, libido, self-esteem
 Tearful
 Mild, moderate, severe
 Self-harm, suicidal thoughts
 Common
 Constant unrealistic worry about any aspect of daily
 Restless, sleeping problems, increased heart beat,
stomach upset, feeling shaky, muscle tension
 Panic attacks
 Phobias
 Hearing voices and/or seeing (hallucinations) and
believing (delusions) things other people don’t share
and that are abnormal for your context
 Confusion re thoughts, withdrawn, suspicious of
 Reluctant to believe help needed
 Up to 4% of population hear voices – most have no
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
 Obsessions – repeated unwelcome thoughts, ideas,
urges e.g.
 contaminated by dirt/germs
 worrying that you haven’t locked the door
 Compulsions – repetitive activities that you feel you
have to do a set number of times.
 Obsessions interrupts your thoughts and
concentration on work – feel anxious
 Compulsions takes up time and relief is short lived
Eating Disorders
 Eating too much or too little
 Anorexia – lose weight
 To feel control
 Bulimia – More common. Weight is steady.
 Binge, vomiting, laxatives
 Constantly thinking about food, weight, self-image
 To disguise emotional pain, deeper issues
 1 in 20 women
Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)
 Extreme swings in mood
 Mania – overactive, excited behaviour, euphoria
 Depression
 Hearing voices and/or seeing (hallucinations) and
believing (delusions) things other people don’t share
and that are abnormal for your context
Impact of Mental illness
 Time to use your brain!
 Individual
 Family
 Society
 Other
Myth 3 – “pull yourself together”
 MYTH: If you have a mental illness, you can will it
away. Being treated for a psychiatric disorder means an
individual has in some way "failed" or is weak.
 FACT: A serious mental illness cannot be willed away.
Ignoring the problem does not make it go away, either.
It takes courage to seek professional help.
Relaxation – music, art, reading , walking, resting
Talking therapies
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Group therapy
Islamic Counselling
Relationship or family therapy
 Medication
 Minor tranquillisers or sleeping pills – to help someone calm down
or sleep
 Anti-depressants – to lift depression and anxiety
 Anti-psychotics – to control disturbing thoughts
 Mood stabilisers – to control extremes of mood
What can you do to help someone with
a mental illness?
 You don’t need to be an expert to help!
 TALK – Don’t be afraid to ask how they are. They may want
to talk about it or not. To let them know they don’t need to
avoid the issue with you.
ASK – how can I help? Accompany to appointment.
Exercise together. Help with shopping.
Be open-minded and LISTEN.
Talk about other things you would normally talk about too.
Learn about the mental health problem
Look after yourself
Emergency – A+E, Samaritan’s helpline, NHS 111
Non-emergency – leaflets, helpline, talking
Jinn related illness
 Jinn mentioned in the Quran – made of smokeless fire, have free
will, accountable for actions, can change form, have families, eat,
 Most scholars believe jinn possession is possible; some don’t
 80-90% of those who think jinn related illness are wrong.
Possession is even more rare.
 Ruqya – recites verses from Quran
Patient will experience seizure and the jinn will speak through the
No seizure occurs, but signs indicate that jinn caused the problem
and is now gone.
Nothing happens, in which case the problem was physiological or
What can we as a Muslim community
do to help those with mental illness?
 Discuss...
 Individuals
 Society, mosques
 Work
 Home
 Friends, family
 Government
 Etc.
 - 24hr helpline: 08457 90 90 90
 – 0808 808 2008
Resources - videos
Videos in Somali, Urdu, Bengali/Sylheti
Videos and transcripts of people's experience with having a mental
health problem. Also of parents, siblings, carers.
Videos and transcript of Sara (Muslim), aged 20, talking about her
mental health problems and the stigma she faced from her family.
 Is there a link between Domestic Violence and mental
health concerning both women and their children,
particularly in adulthood?
 A woman runs a social support group, one of the
stakeholders presents to her that she has frequent and
numerous suicidal thoughts. She doesn't appear to be
an immediate danger to herself or anyone else. In such
a circumstance, what do you recommend she does in
Thank you!
 [email protected]

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